OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald's Corp. is simplifying its food by making plans to remove artificial preservatives from its chicken nuggets, breakfast sausage patties and egg products.
It will also remove high-fructose corn syrup from its buns by the end of August, reported the Chicago Tribune.
These changes are part of the fast-food chain's ongoing effort to cater to more health-focused customers who demand fresh, wholesome food, said Mike Andres, president of U.S. operations. He noted the removal of preservatives from chicken nuggets is especially important for those that will be used in Happy Meals and marks a step forward for parents who are conscious of additives in their children's food.
"We are creating a different food culture at McDonald's," Andres said.
McDonald's previously removed artificial colors and flavors, according to the report. It has also met its goal of using only chicken that is free of antibiotics, which it originally planned to meet in 2017.
Affected breakfast items include pork sausage patties and pre-scrambled eggs, which will no longer have artificial preservatives. McDonald's breakfast sandwiches are made with whole eggs that are cracked in its restaurants and contain no added ingredients.
Other health-related commitments include switching from margarine to butter on breakfast sandwiches; sourcing milk from cows that are not treated with growth hormones; and planning to use only cage-free eggs by 2025. Because McDonald's is such a major egg buyer, this goal allowed more than 100 companies to follow in its footsteps and make similar commitments, according to Andres.
Making changes to McDonald's beef supply is more complicated, as it uses a large number of cattle ranchers, said Marion Gross, McDonald's head of supply chain. Despite this, the company is working to improve the quality and sustainability of its food across the board.
"We're looking at every aspect of our menu today," Gross said. "Nothing's out of bounds."